climate action; it requires our attention now more than ever
September 14th, 2018 was the final day of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, where leaders and citizens alike came together to discuss the success of the climate movement so far, as well as looking to the future at what else must be done. It was an epic event of compassion, emotion and devotion to the health of our planet and everything and everyone that calls it home.
So why did I watch the three major UK news channels for an hour the day of the conference and see not one mention of the GCAS2018?
Global media has a duty to make climate action engaging, enthralling and eclectic
Vital to future successes within the climate movement is widespread interest and engagement from the general public. As citizens, we need to be livid when climate legislation is chipped away at by Donald Trump, heartbroken as more of Sumatra burns for the harvesting of palm oil, and loud and proud when historic deals are made amongst governments to lower carbon emissions further each year.
Yet, to suggest that everyone has the time or energy to devote their already busy lives to seeking
Caring about the future of our plant doesn’t have to be dull
In fact, it’s the opposite. Whilst it can be tiring and frustrating, it’s incredibly interesting and motivating on a personal level. The climate movement reflects a unique moment in our history, whereby, as a collective, we can alter the course of our planet. The ability to now totally reverse human-induced climate change on the scale we are seeing is impossible, but we can, without a doubt, minimise its negative implications and come up with ingenious tactics to combat it. It’s important to be aware of the scale of the issue at hand, without letting that paralyse us. We are where we are, and all we can do now is use all our might to deal with it in the best way possible. Climate scientist Michael E. Mann spoke on the matter in July:
“It is not going off a cliff, it is like walking out into a minefield,” he said. “So the argument it is too late to do something would be like saying: ‘I’m just going to keep walking.’ That would be absurd – you reverse course and get off that minefield as quick as you can. It is really a question of how bad it is going to get.”Michael E. Mann in The Guardian, July 2018
Mitigation and adaption are necessary to reduce the impacts we will feel from human-induced climate change, and to adapt to the degree of change that will definitely impact livelihoods and food security. From geo-engineering to carbon sinks, these tactics can be engaging and interesting (albeit controversial) and deserve attention. Publicising them and spreading engagement is thus necessary.
the time for change is nowquote by me (lol)
I don’t believe that people simply don’t care. People don’t know, sure, and people are fed lies, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be taught. Harnessing the power of social media is key to spreading awareness of the climate movement’s progress, and what we can do to help it prosper, but that requires engagement and interest from those with large followings. We are beyond the point of being able to simply not care, of shrugging it off and hoping someone else will pick up the pieces.
It’s our children that will feel the impact. Parts of our countries will be underwater by the time our grandchildren are taking their first steps. Mitigation and adaption tactics can and will make a real, tangible difference
The first step? Opening our eyes. The second? Caring about our futures. And the third is action.
- Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation, Challenges and Opportunities in the Food Sector, read here.